Using himself and his wife as subjects within his work, Andrew Paul Woolbright builds a continuing narrative made of uncanny and alternate realities. “When I met my wife, I found myself able to return to an optimism, sincerity, and sentiment that I eventually recognized as pre 9/11,” Woolbright shares. “I realized that sentiment has the ability to recover previously disengaged models and inscribe itself as a form of time travel.”
“ShrineBeast” utilizes bathos, heroic history painting, and the visual language of romanticism. With these concepts as guidance, Woolbright sought to engineer a reality that reexamines a previous time through alternate reality, noting: “This time favors Clinton-era American optimism, love, and sentiment in opposition to the millenarianism, nihilism, irony, slacktivism, failed neo-liberalism, and the resurgence of cultural conservatism we are currently experiencing.”
Woolbright credits love as the catalyst for his approach to making art. “Love has been the temporal portal that has allowed me to circumvent this current reality and re-access the idealized hope and patriotic faith of the ‘90s,” he says. “I have tried to arrange a similar portal for my viewers to enter into through my paintings, video, and sculpture. This practice seeks to initiate a mythology through uncanny, romantic imagery that arranges Nordic tracks, flowers, pearls, trophies, meteors, limousines, and cd towers in surreal landscapes.”
Although the tradition of the avant-garde has emphasized the invention of artists such as Picasso over the contribution of artists such as Chagall, Woolbright suggests that this leaves us a point of reinvestigation. “By imagining a more Chagallian avant-garde, my work recuperates a sentimental timeline,” he explains. “With this alternative reality in mind, I attempt to reintroduce hope, optimism, generosity, sincerity, and love in an age that seems incommensurate to them while simultaneously exploring whether this sentimental engagement can be a form of political resistance.”
The opening reception for “ShrineBeast” is Saturday, August 30, from 6PM – 9PM. The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, October 5, 2014. This is Woolbright’s first solo exhibition at Yellow Peril Gallery.
About Andrew Paul Woolbright
ANDREW PAUL WOOLBRIGHT earned his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. Woolbright examines his subjects in a transitional moment. He depicts the contours, imperfections, and beauty distinct to an individual face by gradating the color and dripping the paint. Portraying many of his subjects with closed eyes or a downward-cast gaze, the viewer is directed to an uncommon, yet gratifying viewpoint. For more info about Woolbright, visit andrewwoolbright.com.